Where do I begin with transfer student?

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Hi. I have a transfer student that is REALLY behind! He would really like to major in music education in college. The problem is that he is a junior this year and his last teacher never really followed any set method. She started him in Bastien and took him to level 2 where he was EXTREMELY bored. (He has an awesome ability to compose music and would make things up instead of playing what was written.) He plays at a level higher than 2, although there are a lot of things missing from his playing (expression, accuracy, tempos, etc.) I don't really know how to evaluate him to get him where he needs to be and I don't know what to work on first!!! Any suggestions?!?!?!

-- Kristy Hergatt (Hergatt@cs.com), October 23, 2003


The good news is that this young man WANTS to learn and to major in music education--(does he have teaching as a goal?)

The important thing is not where to begin, but to hurry and get started. I can think of many things. Piano Literature, Book 2 (I think), by Bastien. This book begins with familiar selections such as the Burgmuller "Arabesque", "Ballade", and progresses to a little more difficult numbers.

I would insist on a complete scale and arpeggio book so that he has the foundation needed for a music major. Take things slowly, perhaps one hand at a time, but insist on accuracy in notes and in FINGERING!

To enrich his composing skills, help him to write down his compositions. Anytime we work with notation, our knowledge increases and we have a broader understanding of both Rhythm and notes.

If he is good at improvisation, he may need a chord book and some simple lead sheets, or jazz books. I would try as many things as possible, because he has only this year and next year to get ready. I believe it always helps to listen to good music; the local library usually has tapes and CD's available.

Hope some os this will help!

-- Ruth Farkas (satb88@sbcglobal.net), October 24, 2003.

Excellent ideas from Ruth. The Bastien book mentioned is Book 3, and it's a good one--all 4 of those Piano Literature books are good. He'll also need some theory background. Check out the Snell/Ashleigh Fundamentals of Theory books published by Kjos. Maybe you could skip through the levels--the highest is Level 10, which is about the beginning of college theory.

-- anon1 (noname_poster@yahoo.com), October 25, 2003.

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